CFP: [International] Travelers and the River Plate: a Century´s Writing

full name / name of organization: 
Emilio Irigoyen

Montevideana VI - Travelers and the River Plate: a Century´s Writing
24th-26th June 2009
Montevideo, Uruguay

When the Spanish colonies in America attained independence, the doors of
the continent were opened for countless travelers from the northern
hemisphere. These travelers would often write about their journeys,
describe the customs and landscapes they encountered, register their
surprise, compare, praise or censure what they were discovering, in a
variety of texts such as journals, narratives, chronicles, and newspaper

For reasons such as the absence of reprints, the inaccessibility of
original publications, or because many critics have considered such
traveling authors to be lacking "literary merit", this group of texts has
received relatively little attention. They have been, to be sure,
registered in detailed bibliographies, and dedicated collectors have sought
them out; however, only rarely have they been the object of academic study.
Multidisciplinary in essence, travel writing can be approached from
literary and historical or cultural studies perspectives, to reveal
previously unknown texts and revisit perhaps canonical texts from new
angles, opening up, in every case, unsuspected and stimulating reading spaces.
Our conference will focus on a specific geographical location, the River
Plate area (today, Argentina, Uruguay and Paraguay), during a long century,
one whose beginning and ending are signaled by two textual landmarks: the
Notes On The Viceroyalty Of La Plata In South America, published in London
in 1808 by a member of the British expeditionary force which had just
attacked unsuccessfully Montevideo and Buenos Aires; and the Uruguayan José
Enrique Rodó´s chronicles of his European travels in 1916 and 1917,
published the following year, after his death, as El camino de Paros.

The generic term “travel writing” is most commonly associated with travel
from the northern hemisphere. However, Rodó´s literary pilgrimage (or
Sarmiento´s travels seventy years earlier) remind us that travel was not
only a one-way affair. Thus, we will also take into account texts written
by travelers from this southern part of América who made their way to
Europe -the cultural, political and social referent for the River Plate
region- or to the United States, Africa or the Orient. In taking this
testimonial diversity into consideration, we hope to contribute to the
charting of these transatlantic journeys in all their varied and rich detail.

Keynote speaker: Mary Louise Pratt
Abstracts (15 lines before February 28, 2009) and any further academic
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Received on Mon Nov 10 2008 - 10:51:37 EST